questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

fare & seat fee

Fare & Seat Fee

hi Daniel

I was using Hyperdia to plan train routes for the places I want to visit. Noticed 2 columns - Fare & Seat Fee which I need some clarifications in order to budget.
Correct me, fare means journey cost from point A to B. When seat fee is indicated, does it mean that it is compulsory to pay for a seat else I will be standing all the way? Hence, the total ticket price is fare + seat fee.

I intend to buy the 5-day Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass. Do I need to pay for seat fee? What about Wide View train on the JR Takayama Line? Perhaps, you can state any additional fees over and above the price of the Pass. What about the reserved seat allowed on the Pass? Is that the same as seat fare included?

I also intend to buy the 7-day JR Pass for the following routes:
Nagano>Matsumoto>Nagoya>Himeiji>Hiroshima>Okayama>Kobe
Can JR Pass be used for the routes without additional costs of seat, etc? I note restrictions on NOZOMI AND MIZUHO but I supposed the Pass can still be used on other types of trains.

Please clarify. Thanks

George

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hi George,

In Hyperdia always look at the total price. For example take Okayama to Osaka. Here you'll see the following prices: Total:¥ 6,430(TicketFare:¥ 3,020 Seat Fee:¥ 3,410) The ticket fare is price for the distance travelled, while the Seat Fee is the price for ltd. express train and Shinkansen. Then there is also a [Reserved seat option] on the right side in Hyperdia. Here you can select your type of seat, non-reserved, reserved or Green (1st class). The difference between reserved and non-reserved is generally around 500yen but can change depending on route and season. The JR Pass, or any area pass, include all of these charges and no additional feels are needed.

The JR Pass is indeed not valid on Nozomi and Mizuho train services but can be used on any other kind of train service, for instance the Sakura and Hikari Shinkansen. These travel the same routes but make more stops on the way.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you Daniel for your swift reply.

To clarify and for purpose of budgeting using the example you gave, the price I have to pay is ¥ 6,430 if I ride the LTD or Shinkansen regardless of whether reserved or non-reserved.

Can I take it that seat reservation fee applies only when I made a reservation? Anyway, the fee is nominal and not an issue.

My concern is really the distance fare and seat fee. I want to know what exactly I have to pay. Also what is confusing is that seat fee is not constant which means that I get to sit on either a throne or stool depending on amount? I have no issue with distance fare which is variable according to distance.

Would I be right that if I buy a single trip fare for Okayama to Osaka, the total is ¥ 6,430 excluding reservation? If I use the JR Pass for the same journey, do I have to pay anything more (aside from reservation)?

George

G Kuan
G Kuan

Hi George,

It would indeed be ¥ 6,430 or (slightly cheaper if using a non-reserved seat).

For both fees, it is the longer the route the more both will cost. In Japanese the Seat fee is called (high speed fare) meaning you pay extra for high speed travel and comfort, this is somewhat strangely translated to seat fee in English.

The JR Pass does cover all fees and you would not have to pay anything for this route, you can also make free seat reservations with the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you Daniel for the clarification. Indeed, it is a little confusing with the seat fee. Now, I see it as a way to differentiate the types of trains. The distance fare should be the same for all train types just like taxi rate is the same for all taxi companies but they have different flag-down and surcharges. Also, taxi booking fee can be said to be similar to the reserved seat fee.

I supposed the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass works the same way as the JR Pass with no additional fees on seat other than reserved ones which may be free or limited.

George

G Kuan
G Kuan

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